Monday, May 28, 2012

Accents Mastered updated

Two days ago I happened to finish reading Jeffrey Toobin's book The Nine about the Supreme Court.  Flipping through Netflix this afternoon I noticed Meryl's 1979 movie with Alan Alda The Seduction of Joe Tynan.  I barely remembered watching the film many years ago, and didn't realize it was about a senator trying to block a Supreme Court nominee.  That was a good enough reason to rewatch it, and in Meryl's first scene I realized that she's doing a southern accent.  I did not include this film on my original post about "accents mastered."  Of course there are several southern dialects but from what I understand Meryl based hers on Dinah Shore, who was born and raised in Tennessee.  I'll just assume that's the kind of accent Meryl was using.   Here's the updated list:

The Seduction of Joe Tynan (1979)--Tennessean
The French Lieutenant's Woman (1981)--British (specifically Received Pronunciation)
Sophie's Choice (1982)--Polish (in English and German)
Silkwood (1983)--rural Oklahoman
Plenty (1985)--British
Out of Africa (1985)--Danish
Ironweed (1987)--Irish-American
A Cry in the Dark (1988)--New Zealand (with strong layers of Australian)
The Bridges of Madison County (1995)--Italian (Meryl calls it Iowatalian)
Dancing at Lughnasa (1998)--Irish
Angels in America (2003)--Yiddish and Bronx (in separate roles)
A Prairie Home Companion (2006)--Midwestern
Doubt (2008)--Bronx
Julie & Julia (2009)--Boston Brahmin
The Iron Lady (2011)--British (again Received Pronunciation)


  1. Forgive me, and this will make me sound like an insane person, but actually I believe the "Dinah Shore" accent was for her first Broadway play Trelawny of the Wells. I think she talked about it in her interview on Fresh Air. Hahaha. Just wanted to point this out, impressive blog!

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Oooo. I hadn't heard that. I was basing my info from a blog/website about southern accents in film. I suppose it's certainly possible that Meryl used Dinah Shore as an example for both Seduction and Trelawny. Thanks for reading, Nick!

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.